Kaifeng Complex Reading Camp Discusses “Network, Geometry and Machine Learning”
From October 7 to 13, 2016, Kaifeng-Swarm Agents Club (SA Club) reading camp, themed with “Network, Geometry and Machine Learning”, was held at Beijing WTown. The reading camp brought together 17 young scientists from home and abroad for robust discussions on topics of “Network and Geometry”, “Statistical Physics, Network and Machine Learning”, “Tensor Network, Quantum Gravity and Machine Learning”, “Geometry in Machine Learning” and “Complex Network in the Real World: the Network, Manifold Learning and Geometry”.
Present at the reading camp were Associate Professor of School of Systems Science of Beijing Normal University and Founder of SA Club Zhang Jiang (Jake), Associate Research Fellow of Institute of Theoretical Physics of Chinese Academy of Sciences Zhang Pan, Post-Doctoral Fellow at Department of Physics UC Santa Barbara You Yizhuang, Post-Doctoral Fellow at University of Chicago Knowledge Lab Computation Institute Wu Lingfei, Assistant Research Fellow at School of Journalism and Communication of Nanjing University Wang Chengjun, PhD in physics of School of Physics of Nanjing University Tang Qianyuan, Software Engineer of Beijing ColorfulClouds Technology Co., Ltd. Yuan Mingli, PhD of School of Architecture of Tsinghua University Dong Lei, Research Fellow at Institute of Advanced Study of Shenzhen University Wang Xiong, Zhang Yanbo from Department of Condensed Matter Physics of School of Physical Sciences of USTC, PhD of Department of Computing of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University Li Yanran, Post-Doctoral Fellow at Institute of Theoretical Physics of Chinese Academy of Sciences Zhen Huiling, Qiu Weiyi from Institute of Bioengineering, Luo Xiuzhe from USTC, PhD of Institute of Physics CAS Cheng Song, and Zeng Pei from School of Physics of Nanjing University.
This reading camp marks the first attempt of Kaifeng Foundation to go beyond humanities and social sciences for interdisciplinary exchanges in “deep learning”, “complex network”, “quantum revolution” and “neural network”. What will happen with collision between these phrases and humanism? We specially present an excerpt from what Qiu Weiyi, a participant from Institute of Bioengineering, writes about the reading camp, to commemorate the god-given encounter.
“The cooperation between SA Club and Kaifeng is unexpected yet inevitable, for the two organizations, being alienated and vigorous, share the same style, with their behaviors as warm as the south wind that cannot be easily perceived. They are alienated because in recent years, both the academic community and the society, immersed in fickle and business-oriented atmosphere, are seeking quick success and instant benefits, and there are hardly any organizations like Kaifeng and SA Club that deliberately keep immediate surroundings at a distance and bury themselves in work that takes time and others don’t want to do. They are vigorous because they are always concerned about the current era and explore inaccessible areas, only to find themselves in advertently setting the trend.
Interdisciplinary exchanges have always been the characteristics and orientation of SA Club. Such a high-profile and intensive reading camp on frontier areas of sciences and interdisciplinary exchanges made each and every participant exhilarated. Jake said that he thought and prepared the least yet gained the most and produced the best results in all events of SA Club. Of course, it should owe to professional organizational capacity of coordinators of Kaifeng. More importantly, it just happened that way, as if a canal is formed when water comes, with years of knowledge accumulation and discussions of scientists of SA Club and their persistence, exploration and no-compromise in dreams of science.
In the session of taking pictures, the gorgeous photographer Amanda said that when photographing people from the circle of literature and art, she would always coordinate those spotlight stealers, but taking pictures of a group of people majoring in science is completely different for she would keep on calling them forward. In the ice-breaking meeting, participants must be asked to speak one by one, and it seemed that they did not know how to greet others. Such a group of Sheldons appeared reticent, reserved, unsociable and crestfallen. However, once any of them began lecturing or story-telling on the podium or exchanging ideas on topics of interest, he would beam with joy and dash along as if switched on by a mysterious button, but he would be soon switched off when finishing the speech.
This is how behaviors of Sheldon work. In fact, each participant in the camp was undoubtedly excited in exchanges and collisions with others, and would make new friends as well as find new inspirations and ideas for cooperation. In the preface of Control Theory I am reading these days, Norbert Wiener says that Claude Elwood Shannon, John von Neumann, Ronald Aylmer Fisher, neural network pioneers Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts, physician Arturo Rosenblueth and he always worked together for interdisciplinary researches, the result of which is the creation of the discipline of cybernetics as well as their far-reaching impact and great reputation. Such interdisciplinary cooperation is the original intention of Jake to initiate SA Club.
Nonetheless, Kaifeng Foundation has in fact more ambitions: it hopes to further realize exchanges between frontiers of science and humanities, conduct more in-depth study on scientific and technological progress and social changes, and have a more scientific and profound understanding of the whole society. I am also looking forward to arrival of such exchanges in the coming days.”